Carlton Collegiate celebrates Music Monday in a new way

Carlton high school students perform during Music Monday, a YouTube music show that took place on Monday. /SCREEN CAPTURE FROM MUSIC MONDAY ON YOUTUBE.

Music Monday has been a tradition at Carlton Comprehensive Collegiate since 2005. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, music teacher Brenda Bernath wanted to keep it going.

After watching recent musical specials she decided to take Music Monday to YouTube with Music Monday: Carlton Celebrates Music, Now…and Then on Monday, May 4.

The YouTube show premiered on Monday afternoon and was over two hours long, combining performances from the past and present.

“There are all kinds of music things happening online and you also watch the news and how they talk about people in other countries singing from their balconies together or people going on the streets and singing to people on their doorsteps. Music is bringing together people at a time everybody is struggling,” Bernath said.

“Between those concerts and Music Monday, I just thought Carlton should put together its own little show to celebrate music to bring people together at this time. Let’s try and do it on Music Monday and try and support that idea about the importance of music education. So it was just kind of a little idea I thought of not quite two weeks ago,” she explained.

Bernath reached out to students who have performed in the past as part of the choir or other school musical groups.

“And then I really felt bad about the kids that I teach that I couldn’t reach out to or be involved because their instruments are at school because it was all so sudden. We were out so quick and we didn’t know when we were coming back, we thought we would be coming back. They had no way of doing it, so I thought I could take the video from the Christmas concert,”

The songs performed at the last Christmas concert were ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ because this year is his 250th birthday.

Organizations around the world have been paying tribute to Beethoven this year.

Bernath also used an older video of one student who loves to entertain but did not have the ability to be part of Music Monday.

“It’s videos from then and it’s video from now so it is a combination of stuff,” she explained.

The project is organized to follow the theme of Now…and Then as closely as possible. Videos were grouped by performer with their “now” videos happening first followed by a “then” video if they submitted one.

The second half of the video focuses more on school performances and special events that occurred before the pandemic hit. She explained that the sound quality of some of the videos was not the best, but being able to share those special moments with others was more important.

“Some performers are sending me one video, some are sending me two. So I am putting them together by performer so when it is posted people will be able to go through and students can find themselves or the relatives can find the person they are looking for,” Bernath said.

There is also an emphasis on the importance of music.

Students were provided with a number of quotes, and they each chose two or three that spoke to them. One of those quotes was placed just before their performance in the video.

Bernath added that she is proud of our students and cannot thank them enough for their willingness to be part of this music celebration.

“The technical expertise, support, and advice of my two fellow colleagues, Dani Van Steelandt, Ian Hecht and my brother Cary Bernath were instrumental in making this music project happen,” Bernath said.